20 courses you didn’t know you could take at uOttawa: 2024-2025

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With courses ranging from cinema to witchcraft, there’s much to discover this term.

University of Ottawa offers a broad range of prerequisite-free electives, allowing you to explore new disciplines and broaden your outlook on the world.

We know that building the ideal schedule is important, so here’s an updated list of courses you can take to fulfill your elective requirements.

1. Bring out your inner child

Children's Literature — ENG2110

Expelliarmus! If you wished you could study Harry Potter in high school English class, then look no further. Take a trip down memory lane and revisit classics such as Where the Wild Things Are, Alice in Wonderland, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and of course, Harry Potter.

2. Win your next trivia night!

Popular Culture and Communication — CMN 2180

Learn about different forms of popular culture and examine related stereotypes and myths. You’ll uncover the narratives behind your favourite trends and media, from the origins of the Kardashian dynasty to the role of the Beatles in the 1964 British Invasion!

3. Criminal Minds: Elementary, my dear Watson

Introduction to Criminology — CRM1300          

An introduction to true crime, this course examines different criminology concepts and notions of crime and deviance. You will learn about current social problems and social control, the criminal justice system, crime statistics and public opinion, as well as the criminologist’s role.

4. We will, we will rock you!

The Sound of Rock — MUS2304

This one is a banger. The Sound of Rock explores the history and sound of iconic rock bands like AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Pink Floyd and many others.  Get your headphones ready to tune into the genre’s most beloved tracks!

5. A move towards reconciliation

Introduction to Indigenous Studies — EAS1101

This course examines the history and current conditions of Indigenous communities in Canada and around the world. Given the significance of truth and reconciliation, learning about the history and contemporary conditions of Indigenous peoples in Canada and around the world is an important part of becoming a well-rounded and informed human.

6. Casting spells

Witchcraft, Magic and Occult Traditions — SRS1110

Who says magic isn’t real? In this class you’ll explore the historical traditions and practices built on the belief in paranormal phenomena, which includes witchcraft, magic and the occult, and their relation to traditional religious behaviour.

7. The Big Big Bang

The Big Bang and Beyond — PHY 1300 

What could possibly be more fascinating than the creation of the universe? Physics is essentially the study of how the world works, providing answers to some of the big questions humanity has had throughout history. No background in science or math is necessary to take this course (luckily for you).

8. Learn to be Zen

Introduction to Contemplative Studies and Well-being — AHL 2150

A schedule packed full of classes and extracurriculars can often make university quite stressful. Lighten your load by taking an elective specifically designed to teach you how to improve your health and well-being. You’ll learn to meditate AND earn university credit for it!

9. The hills are alive with the sound of music!

Music in the Movies — MUS2310

Get your popcorn ready for movie nights! You’ll get to enjoy some great films while learning about the history of film music and its function in cinema, from silent movies to more recent productions. No previous knowledge of music is necessary!

10. It’s a catastrophe!

Earth: Natural Disasters Explained — GEO1301

Natural disasters have recently been on the rise worldwide. Discover what causes natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, avalanches and floods and how we can predict them. You will also learn about the history of the Earth, tectonic plates, mountain formation and the movement of glaciers. 

11. Modern medicine

Drugs 101 — BPS 1101 

Did you know that leeches were used to treat disease up until the 19th century? Thankfully, we now have more modern methods in the form of pharmacology. This elective explores the history of drugs and the origin of disease, as well as other topics, including performance-enhancing substances in sports, antibiotics, and cancer chemotherapy.

12. La Dolce Vita

Italian Cinema — ITA1113

Discover Italy through the camera lens of its directors and various film trends! You’ll learn about the diverse cultural, political, and social influences in the Italian landscape that led to the creation of its cinema. And what a great excuse to hear some Italian! (Most films will be in Italian with subtitles).

13. Psychoanalysis

Introduction to Psychology: Applications — PSY1102

Psychology is a fascinating field that studies how the human mind works, an area that can help you understand both yourself and others! In this class, you’ll discover many different topics, such as human development, intelligence, personality, mental health and treatment approaches.

14. Explore the beautiful continent of Africa

Introduction to African Studies — AFR 1100

This course introduces you to Africa’s history, ecology, demographics, and diverse cultures. Develop your critical thinking skills by challenging myths about the African continent through a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approach!

15. The world of media studies

Introduction to Media Studies — CMN1160

Want to find out how social media, the entertainment industry, and advertising influence society and public opinion? Introduction to Media Studies delves into the complex world of media, including new communication technologies and their impact on individuals and society.

16. Peace and Love?

The Twentieth-Century World from 1945 — HIS1111

The second half of the twentieth century wasn’t all rock-and-roll and hippies. This course looks at the aftermath of the Second World War and covers major historical events, such as the moon landing, the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall. 

17. Language of the mind

Language and the Mind — LIN1303

Ever wonder if you could read thoughts? Language and the Mind combines the disciplines of linguistics and psychology! Although this class will most likely not give you psychic powers, you will investigate the latest research on how language is represented and processed in the brain. 

18. Business sense

The Entrepreneurial Society — ADM 2313

Calling all future entrepreneurs and business owners! This course covers the basics of entrepreneurship and various types of businesses. You will develop strategies to push your unique business plan and ideas, and gain a solid understanding of the role of entrepreneurship in our society.  Take the first steps towards making your entrepreneurial dreams come true!

19. Feminism 101

Women, Gender, Feminism: An Introduction — FEM1100

Feminism is a term you’ll often hear, but what does it really mean to be a feminist? This course offers an interdisciplinary approach to understanding gender, race, class, sexuality, and disability in Canadian and global contexts. You’ll delve into key debates in feminist and gender studies, developing critical analytical skills along the way.

20. Hello, Olá, Bonjour, Hola, Ciao, 你好, مرحباً, Здравствуйте, Hallo!

Learn French, Arabic, Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, or Russian.

Did you know that learning a new language improves brain function by strengthening the parts of the brain that control memory, reasoning, and sensory perception? The Faculty of Arts offers many modern language courses for both beginners and more experienced learners. You may need to take a language placement test to determine which course best suits your needs.

Unsure when you can enrol in or drop a class? See the important academic dates and deadlines. Unsure if the classes are offered in person or online? Check the course schedule.